Mike Ginn: ‘A sociable man who loved to talk…sadly he took his own life’

This section includes both obituaries and memories. Honoring our loved ones who have died does not end immediately after their passing. We recognize that… so we’re extending our obituary section to include individuals who may have left a long time ago. If you want to remember someone who is gone, either recently or longer ago, please send a photo and a few sentences to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Tell us why you would like to honor the person–is it their birthday, the date of their passing or some other date of significance to you.

1949-2017

Michael William Ginn was born July 26, 1949 in Hollywood, California, to William and Constance Slater Ginn and died January 6, 2017.  He was raised in West Covina and had fond memories of playing in the orange groves which surrounded his neighborhood.  He attended local schools there, graduating from Covina High in 1967.

In September 1969 he joined the Army and was still in boot camp when his father died that October.  He went to Vietnam in March 1970 and shortly thereafter he was injured when a grenade was thrown into the bunker where he was sleeping.  He spent the next year recuperating in hospitals in Japan and California.  He later received a Purple Heart.  This incident affected him for the rest of his life, both physically and emotionally.  After recuperation he attended Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, where he met his future wife, Michelene Moses.  They were married in 1972 and later divorced.  During that time he worked at a postal mail sorting department, but he spent most of his young working years in construction, which he always enjoyed.  He loved building things out of wood from his own design, and tinkering with any of his many collections.  In the late 1980s he grew tired of the Los Angeles traffic and smog and moved north to Fresno for awhile, and in 1989 he traveled further north to Humboldt County where he loved the peace and quiet and beauty and decided to make his home here.  He worked various odd jobs, including selling fruit at a fruit stand at Fernbridge and working for a cleaning service till he decided to further his education at College of the Redwoods.  He studied and received AA degrees in Construction and in CAD, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.  He met his second wife, Jackie Hollis Yeates, at CR and they married in December 1997.  He worked for a time as the property manager for the Salvation Army in Eureka, California, and later at Thomas Home Center in McKinleyville.

Mike was a sociable man who loved to talk.   He had lots of tales about his life.  He had a strong belief in God and searched for many years to find the religion that he felt was right.  After many questions and additional study, he was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in November 1999.  He loved the church and always loved God and wanted to do what God wanted him to do.

As the years passed by and Mike’s PTSD began to catch up with him, he became less and less able to function in his daily life.  The many medications he took played havoc with his mind and he often went for days with no sleep.  His second marriage did not survive, and when he was out on his own again, he lost control of what he had left in life.  Depression and alcohol pushed him further into a downward spiral, until sadly he took his own life.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by family in southern California, which includes his beloved sister Patricia Bishop, nieces Jennifer Nguyen and her husband Tam and Jessica Bishop whom he loved as though they were his own children; one aunt, Janie Smith, and several cousins throughout California and other states.  Also survived by his ex-wife Jackie with whom he remained close up till the very end.

His remains have been cremated and his ashes will be scattered at a later date.  A memorial service will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1600 Heartwood Avenue, McKinleyville, California, on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, a charity near and dear to Mike’s heart.

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15 comments

  • Thank you, Kym.

  • I am so sorry Michael William Ginn.

  • Sorry to hear such sad news.R.I.P.free from pain

  • Such sad news Jackie. I am terribly sorry for your loss.

  • Sad to hear this news. Sending loving thoughts to the family. RIP Mike.

  • Such a very sad situation. He looks like he was a very kind man. No vet should have to go through this. I am sorry his pain was too great. Blessings to Mr. Ginn and to his surviving loved ones.

  • What a beautifully written tribute, honoring both his strengths and his struggles. Best wishes to the family.

  • Another victim of big pHarma.

    Sad sad sad.

    Pills are not the answer to emotional distress–they only make it worse.

    RIP

    • You name yourself well Spam. What an ignorant comment.

    • I agree with you Veterans friend, heartless, low class comment by Spud. Save your political, big business bs for another day. Sorry to hear of Mikes passing. I too was raised in West Covina, attended Mt. Sac. and romped in the orange groves (partied). I feel a kinship. May peace be comfort. Farewell.

  • I enjoyed talking with Mike and appreciated his talents and big heart. He often told me how much he loved his nieces. I’m so sorry he couldn’t recover from the depths of a personal hell. He is free now, and probably having many great conversations in Heaven. Bless you, Jackie.

  • I hope Mr Ginn found peace. Thank you to the family and friends for allowing his cause of death to be known.

  • Veterans for nothing

    When will our elected Federal officials understand we can no longer put our young in harm’s way. Too many 18 to 20+ year old men and women have had their lives taken from them in any number of hellish wars. And then the survivors have to deal with broken bodies and memories that lead to suicide. Why do we, as citizens, put up with the decisions elected leaders that do not take responsibility for the tens of thousands of our young sons and daughters who give up their bodies and lives for political causes that have nothing to do with any jeopardizing of the safety of our way of life. Why do we allow these travesties? Are military corporations that make billions in profits having too much influence with senators and congressmen and women? Is this about BIG business pushing their agenda on the American public? Are we just too lazy to get involved with a constitution that states, gov’t for the people and BY THE PEOPLE? I am veteran like Michael Ginn. I connect with him and his experience as a veteran. And I have on two occasions thought seriously about suicide because I survived and I do not understand why I didn’t end up like my fallen comrades on U.S. Army killing fields. Veterans will always be living with the insanity of war when this country keeps putting our young people in harm’s way as we continue to do. Our new president elect will not stop this. Only we as citizens can stop creating killing fields.

  • Lucia Lee Ernenwein

    No words to express my sadness. So sorry to hear this news….. I’m keeping Mike’s family in my prayers. Love ya, Jackie….

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